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The Effect of Mergers in Search Markets: Evidence from the Canadian Mortgage Industry

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  • Jason Allen
  • Robert Clark
  • Jean-Fran?ois Houde

Abstract

We examine the relationship between concentration and price dispersion using variation induced by a merger in the Canadian mortgage market. Since interest rates are determined through a search and negotiation process, consolidation weakens consumers' bargaining positions. We use reduced-form techniques to estimate the mergers' distributional impact, and show that competition benefits only consumers at the bottom and middle of the transaction price distribution, and that mergers reduce the dispersion of prices. We illustrate that these effects can be explained by the presence of search frictions, and that the average effect of mergers on rates underestimates the increase in market power.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason Allen & Robert Clark & Jean-Fran?ois Houde, 2014. "The Effect of Mergers in Search Markets: Evidence from the Canadian Mortgage Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(10), pages 3365-3396, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:10:p:3365-96
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.10.3365
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    Cited by:

    1. Rodrigo Carril & Mark Duggan, 2018. "The Impact of Industry Consolidation on Government Procurement: Evidence from Department of Defense Contracting," NBER Working Papers 25160, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Dubois, Pierre & Perrone, Helena, 2015. "Price Dispersion and Informational Frictions: Evidence from Supermarket Purchases," CEPR Discussion Papers 10906, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Jason Allen & Robert Clark & Jean-François Houde, 2019. "Search Frictions and Market Power in Negotiated-Price Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(4), pages 1550-1598.
    4. Lehrer, Steven F. & Pohl, R. Vincent & Song, Kyungchul, 2018. "Multiple Testing and the Distributional Effects of Accountability Incentives in Education," MPRA Paper 89532, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Orley Ashenfelter & Daniel Hosken & Matthew Weinberg, 2014. "Did Robert Bork Understate the Competitive Impact of Mergers? Evidence from Consummated Mergers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(S3), pages 67-100.
    6. Louis-Gaëtan Giraudet & Anna Petronevich & Laurent Faucheux, 2019. "How do lenders price energy efficiency? Evidence from personal consumption loans," Working papers 716, Banque de France.
    7. Jason Allen & Timothy Grieder & Brian Peterson & Tom Roberts, 2016. "The Impact of Macroprudential Housing Finance Tools in Canada: 2005–10," Staff Working Papers 16-41, Bank of Canada.
    8. Robert McKeown, 2017. "Costs, Size And Returns To Scale Among Canadian And U.s. Commercial Banks," Working Paper 1382, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    9. Mosk, Thomas, 2018. "Bargaining with a bank," SAFE Working Paper Series 211, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    10. Hong Zhu & Qi Zhu, 2016. "Mergers and acquisitions by Chinese firms: A review and comparison with other mergers and acquisitions research in the leading journals," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 1107-1149, December.
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    12. Daria Gunina & Michal Novák & Tomáš Kincl & Lenka Komárková, 2018. "Mass Media Communication & Companies’ Market Position: The Case of Czech Mortgage Market," Acta Oeconomica Pragensia, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2018(2), pages 41-55.
    13. Beltratti, Andrea & Benetton, Matteo & Gavazza, Alessandro, 2017. "The role of prepayment penalties in mortgage loans," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 165-179.
    14. Orley C. Ashenfelter & Daniel S. Hosken & Matthew C. Weinberg, 2015. "Efficiencies brewed: pricing and consolidation in the US beer industry," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 46(2), pages 328-361, June.
    15. Shelegia, Sandro & Wilson, Chris, 2016. "A Generalized Model of Sales," EconStor Preprints 147411, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    16. Robert McKeown, 2017. "Where Are The Economies Of Scale In Canadian Banking?," Working Paper 1380, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    17. Ulrike Malmendier & Enrico Moretti & Florian S Peters, 2018. "Winning by Losing: Evidence on the Long-run Effects of Mergers," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(8), pages 3212-3264.
    18. Tim Hazledine, 2017. "Mixed pricing in monopoly and oligopoly: theory and implications for merger analysis," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(2), pages 122-135, May.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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